Obama Watch: Whirlwind World Tour

This is MY Moment
Last week Barack Obama’s whirlwind world tour took him to several countries, including Iraq, England, Germany and France.

In Berlin, Obama spoke to 200,000 Germans, giving him the distinct honor of being as popular as the two German bands he followed, but less popular than David Hasselhoff.  It’s a shame that German citizens aren’t allowed to vote in American elections, but surely ACORN is working on it.

Obama’s speech was a call to save the world.  The subtext, however, is that only Obama is up to this task. 

Now the world will watch and remember what we do here – what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?

People of Berlin – people of the world – this is our moment. This is our time.

“People for the world” – voters in America – don’t be fooled.  It’s entirely about Obama.  The Berlin speech is just a continuation of a self-centered presidential campaign that’s heavy on fancy rhetoric and light on substance.

Or Was It Really Bono’s Moment ?
Last week Rush Limbaugh compared audio from Obama’s Berlin speech and a 2005 Live 8 speech given by rock band U2’s frontman, Bono:

BONO:  This is our moment. This is our time. This is our chance. To stand up for what’s right. We’re not looking for charity.  We’re lookin’ for justice! 

OBAMA:  People of Berlin! People of the world! This is our moment.  This is our time. 

Rush concluded, “There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, Obama plagiarizing Bono.  He also plagiarizes Deval Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts.” 

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
A few weeks ago, Obama scolded Americans for not teaching their children a second language.  He said, “You know, it’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German.  Then we go over to Europe and all we can say is merci beaucoup.”

Should Americans be embarrassed that Obama only spoke English in Europe?

Channeling Karl Marx in Berlin
A staple of the Democratic platform is wealth redistribution.  Obama chose Berlin as the venue to echo those themes.  He said, “This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably.  Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many.”

Following Obama’s speech, Ambassador John Bolton wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “The best we can hope for is that Obama’s rhetoric was simply that, pandering to the audience before him, as politicians so often do. We shall see if this rhetoric follows him back to America, either because he continues to use it or because Sen. John McCain asks voters if this is really what they want from their next president.”

Obama may point to his short term in the Senate as evidence that he is an outsider that represents “real change,” but the fact remains that he’s still peddling the same liberal policies.

Big Labor Working for Obama
The AFL-CIO’s endorsement of Obama was inevitable.  You can be sure that the Big Labor powerhouses will spend big bucks for their candidate.  Financial consultant Mallory Factor wrote in Charleston, North Carolina’s The Post and Courant:

The two largest union coalitions — the AFL-CIO and the “Change to Win” Federation, a coalition of labor unions formed in 2005 as an alternative to the AFL-CIO — admit that they will spend at least $300 million on federal elections alone. When combined with political action committees, local unions and other union funders, at least $1 billion of pro-union money is being dumped into electioneering. You can bet the union bosses expect a lot of “change” from Obama next year on labor law. An Obama administration — possibly coupled with a filibuster-proof Senate — will feel a real sense of obligation to repay Big Labor that supported them.

Big Labor’s priorities include:

– “a ‘card check’ system which effectively requires them to declare publicly their support or opposition to unionizing their shop”
– “force state and local governments to collectively bargain with union officials over all contracts involving police officers, firefighters, and paramedics” (including Right to Work states)
– “seek law changes that prohibit permanent replacement of striking workers”
– “forced unionism” and end to “Right to Work” states

Factor concludes, “So the union bosses have found their man. With their billion-dollar bet on Barack Obama, they know that the payoff of new union coercive powers will be worth the trouble.”

Obama Breaks Promise to Kenyan School Children
A small village school without running water and electricity is commonplace in Kenya, but one school had great hopes when visited by the owner’s American grandson.  The school’s walls are decorated with posters and stickers of the “Kenyan Wonder Boy in the U.S.,” Barack Obama.  The Evening Standard reports:
Barack Obama, the Evening Standard can reveal, after we went to the village earlier this month, has failed to honour the pledges of assistance that he made to a school named in his honour when he visited here amid great fanfare two years ago.

He told the assembled press, local politicians (who included current Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga), and students: “Hopefully I can provide some assistance in the future to this school and all that it can be.” He then turned to the school’s principal, Yuanita Obiero, and assured her and her teachers: “I know you are working very hard and struggling to bring up this school, but I have said I will assist the school and I will do so.”
Ten of the school’s 144 students are Obama’s relatives.  Prior to his fourth visit to the school, Obama’s grandmother told reporters, “When he comes down here, he will change the face of the school and, believe me, our poverty in Kogelo will be a thing of the past.”

Principal Obiero said, “We interpreted his words as meaning he would help fund the school, either personally or by raising sponsors or both, in order to give our school desperately-needed modern facilities and a facelift.” 

The principal also told the Evening Standard, “Senator Obama has not honoured the promises he gave me when we met in 2006 and in his earlier letter to the school. He has not given us even one shilling. But we still have hope.”  Much like his supporters in the U.S., feelings of hope seem to follow Obama.  Results, however, do not.